Traveling solo may be intimidating, as you are haunted by insecurities and anxiety of the destinations that you should opt best for solo traveling and additional pressures from your loved ones of your safety. Loving the adventure and yet you aren’t sure which off-the beaten path you should go for on solo traveling?
At the sound of the word “Borneo” images of rainforest, wildlife, savage may be some of the thoughts came to mind for some who aren’t so familiar with Borneo Island. As a destination Borneo has become increasingly popular as with other destinations around the world among solo traveler. Here to list our top 5 that should not be missed while in Borneo.
- Mount Kinabalu – Kinabalu National Park, Sabah
Mount Kinabalu is of the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, standing at 4,095m (13,435 feet) it is relatively young and still growing at 5 mm a year. The natives of Sabah believes that the mountain is the sacred resting ground of the spirits of their ancestors.
Most of climbers tackle the mountain on a two-day hike, beginning in the morning, check into a rest-house by late afternoon at the elevation of 3,270m (10,730 feet) and finally getting up in the early hours for the final hike to reach the summit plateau for an unforgettable sunrise.
Climbing Mount Kinabalu does not require special technical skills, however you would need to be relatively fit as the first day of the hike is mostly steps to the rest-house. The remaining 2 km hike up to the summit is more challenging, as the hike includes vertical steps and on bare granite rock, yet the results is rewarding with breathtaking view just being above the clouds.
- Wildlife River Safari – Sandakan, Sabah
Sabah jungle forest reserves is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and highly recommended for wildlife spotting, as it is rich with biodiversity boasts from lower montane forest to montane heath forest and hill dipterocarp forest. Highly recommended forest reserve for wildlife spotting, it the 560 km Kinabatangan River is the second longest river in Malaysia, which runs down from the Crocker Range in Southwest Sabah and ends at the Sulu Sea southeast of Sandakan. The Kinabatangan floodplain is known for its extraordinary biodiversity, with five well defined habitat can been seen includes the freshwater swamp, saline to limestones habitat, dry and waterlogged forest. Making it as one of the most diverse concentrations of wildlife in Borneo region.
Kinabatangan is home to the Bornean Pygmy Elephant, proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, orang utan, langurs and gibbons, and for those keen bird watchers it is an haven with over 600 species of birds found here. Kinabatangan as a destination, is family-friendly with activities such as dusk and dawn boat cruises, light trekking and night walks. Over the years, Kinabatangan River has gained quite a reputation as one of the top wildlife watching destination, offering visitors from luxury chalets to off-the beaten track jungle camp to fit the different needs of travelling styles.
- Mulu Caves – Mulu National Park, Sarawak
Gunung Mulu National Park is Malaysia’s first world heritage, known for its magnificent limestone cave systems. Visit to Mulu should not be missed, as here you will be amaze with few of the world’s largest found in Mulu, which are the largest natural chamber and largest cave passage. The national park main attractions are the four show caves, Clearwater, Deer, Lang and Wing Caves and the rainforest canopy skywalk, which are the world’s longest tree based walkway.
Additional activities that you could opt for those adventure at heart, go for caving trips or the Mulu Summit climb of the pinnacles at Gunung Api, hike through jagged and steep trail to enjoy the rare fauna of Mulu rainforest.
- Dive or Snorkel – East & West Coast of Sabah
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Islands or TARP Islands comprised of 5 beautiful islands just off the doorstep of Kota Kinabalu city, about 10 to 15 minutes boat drives are some stunning tropical marine paradise. Diving in any of these islands’ features lots of hard and soft coral, you get to experience the rich biodiversity of tropical fish, and enjoy the encounters with moray eels, barracuda, blue-spotted rays, lionfish, reef sharks, the green and hawksbill turtle and on seasonal the whale shark that come to visit from between February to April, which are the krill season.
Wanting more diving adventure, then head off to the islands off Semporna dive around the Coral Triangle, known as the “Amazon of the Seas” as it is home to more than half of the world reefs. These beautiful islands consist of the Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Pom Pom, Mataking and Tun Sakaran Marine Park are known as a magnificent scuba diving and snorkeling spot.
- Longhouse Stay – Sabah & Sarawak
Both Sabah and Sarawak are known for their rich culture and ethnicity, with over 40 tribes these two Malaysian states are warm welcoming and friendly hosts. Borneo is still holding own strong to its root and culture, though most ethnic group today are either Christians or Muslims however they still practices rituals that were passed down by their ancestral, such as the big ‘Harvest Festival’ celebrated by both Sabah and Sarawak.
Having to experience living with the local folks at their longhouse is an exposure of an opportunity to observe the serenity of their daily living, farming, fishing and yes do some ‘traditional cooking’ with no gas and stove. This laid-back living, cultural involvement, and the back to basic lifestyle is something that you would want to boast about when you’re back to reality.0